12 Things You Didn’t Know About Virginia
Ah, Virginia. History, nature, Atlantic region — we know it all, right?
Wrong. We’ve uncovered 12 Virginia facts that might surprise even some locals! Check them out below, and then check out the Travelzoo Virginia Destination Page for deals to visit.
1. The “virgin” part of the state’s name is no coincidence; Virginia was named after England’s “Virgin Queen,” Elizabeth I.
2. The Chincoteague Island Pony Swim is celebrating its 91st event this year. If you’ve ever wanted to watch “saltwater cowboys” corral ponies for a dip, Virginia is the place to do so.
3. Virginia is home to many incredible underground caverns, a favorite activity of tourists and locals alike.
4. That iconic Dirty Dancing scene? Filmed in Virginia. Almost the entirety of the 1987 classic was filmed at the Mountain Lake Lodge in Pembroke.
Photo courtesy of Mountain Lake Lodge
5. Virginia is for (beer and wine) lovers. Find more than 60 craft breweries and 230 wineries across this state.
6. About half of all the people in the United States live within a 500-mile radius of the capital of Virginia.
7. Virginia is home to 36 National Parks, including historic sites, battlefields, mountains and more.
8. Famous Virginians are not limited to our Founding Fathers — Katie Couric, Ella Fitzgerald and Warren Beatty all called Virginia home.
9. Virginia has one of the toughest state mottos: sic semper tyrannis or “thus always to tyrants.”
10. The state is nicknamed the “Mother of Presidents,” because eight U.S. presidents were born there.
11. Patrick Henry gave his legendary “Give me liberty or give me death!” speech in Virginia, at St. John’s Church.
12. You can thank Virginia for frats — the first fraternity in the U.S., Phi Beta Kappa, was founded in 1776 at the College of William & Mary.
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